In the fast and easy world of email communication (where over 80% of us consider email to be critical to our success and productivity and how most of us communicate) it is sometimes tempting to respond to an annoying partner or manager communication with a quick-fire email. Most of us have fallen into this trap.
What to do and what not to do with difficult partners was the subject of two recent posts (Leadership Frame #8 & #9). Coincidentally I came across a recent article from Travis Bradberry at Talent Smart (the EQ/emotional intelligence people) and he offered some more tips from an EQ perspective which I thought would be helpful for readers. Essentially this is about ensuring your own emotional intelligence is such that you are well prepared to deal with difficult partners. This requires understanding EQ and then having some EQ strategies you can use to assist in these situations. I summarise some of these below with my liberal editing and annotation in the context of dealing with difficult partners.
Just like angry babies, difficult partners sometimes defy logic. While some partners may be blissfully unaware of the negative impact they have on those around them, some almost seem to get satisfaction from being obstructive, creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity and strife and end up wasting a heck of a lot of leadership and management time.
Bradberry (author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0) makes two important points:
- to deal with difficult people effectively, you need an approach that enables you, across the board, to control what you can eliminate and know what you can’t; and
- the important thing to remember when it comes to difficult partners, and the impact that they have on you and the firm, is that you are in control of far more than you realize.